Sellur Raju praises Rahul Gandhi, Later clarifies comments

Former Tamil Nadu Minister and AIADMK Madurai urban district secretary, Sellur K. Raju, created a stir on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, by posting a video clip of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on social media platform X. Raju accompanied the video with a comment expressing his admiration for Gandhi, stating he was overwhelmed by the young leader’s demeanor.

The 90-second video showed Rahul Gandhi interacting casually with people in a crowded restaurant, engaging with children and youth, and taking selfies. “See, how he freely mingles with people in the hotel, whereas even ward secretaries of political parties in Tamil Nadu want to show off by cordoning off seats in public places,” Raju remarked, highlighting Gandhi’s approachability and simplicity.

However, as speculation arose regarding the implications of his post, Raju, who is also a legislator, played down the political significance. He clarified that his admiration stemmed purely from Gandhi’s simplicity. “Rahul Gandhi is not just a politician but the son of a former Prime Minister, and yet he remains so simple. His simplicity should be emulated by all politicians in Tamil Nadu,” Raju explained.

Raju further noted that political leaders abroad often lead simple lives and lamented the shift in behavior among politicians in Tamil Nadu in recent years. He referenced his own adherence to simplicity, inspired by his party leader M.G. Ramachandran (MGR), and mentioned that even the AIADMK general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, leads a simple life. “Only Amma (Jayalalithaa), being a woman leader, wanted to be different,” he added.

When questioned about the timing of his praise for a leader from another party, Raju emphasized that his admiration was based on personal principles rather than political motives. “I am a student of the ideologies of Periyar (E.V. Ramasamy), Anna (C.N. Annadurai), and MGR. There is nothing political to read between the lines,” he stated.